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Old 03-13-2010, 08:01 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default BMW to go front-drive


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BMW is set to introduce a new front-wheel-drive entry-level model, positioned and priced beneath the existing 1-series and using shared Mini hardware, according to the firm's chairman Norbert Reithofe.

The new model is being developed as part of plans to help increase parts sharing and bolster the potential for production savings between the BMW and Mini brands, thus bringing an end to the era of rear and four-wheel drive-only BMW models.

Speaking to Autocar at the last week's Geneva motor show, Reithofer said internal BMW studies revealed that, despite the downturn in the world’s economy, there is continued demand for what he described as "premium vehicles" in the small car class.

He then officially acknowledged plans that will see BMW producing a rival to the recently unveiled Audi A1 and a new Smart Forfour presently under development at rival Mercedes-Benz.

"We will be extending the BMW and Mini brands into the small car segment with new models and variants," said Reithofer.

Being careful to separate the new price-leading front-wheel-drive model from BMW's upcoming city car - a totally different project as part of its Mega City Vehicle electric car initiative - Reithofer added, "For these new vehicles [the new BMW and Mini] we are developing a common architecture for both front and four-wheel drive."

While exact details remain shrouded in secrecy, Autocar can confirm the new entry-level BMW has been conceived to run the same front-wheel-drive underpinnings as the next-generation Mini Cooper.

The new Mini Cooper is not due out until 2014, but the small BMW could be on UK roads as early as 2013 as part of a major thrust by the company to become the undisputed sales leader in the premium small car class.

Plans to base the new entry-level BMW on the same platform as the Mini Cooper also raise the question of where the new car would be built. Although BMW is being vague, Autocar understands the new car could be built alongside the Mini Cooper in Oxford, using a new generation of petrol and diesel engines sourced from BMW's engine plant in Hams Hall.

Studies are also under way that could result in the new platform structure referred to by Reithofer being used for future generations of the 1-series - although BMW is still undecided on whether the third-generation model, due in 2018, will be front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

"We are looking at alternatives," a Munich insider told Autocar. "With the new platform set to support four-wheel drive, it wouldn't be that hard to use the transmission tunnel for a rear-wheel-drive application."
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsAr...llCars/248023/
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Well this is confusing badge engineering.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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If it is mini sized I'm ok with that... anything larger and I would be angry.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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A car with the proven handling characteristics of the Mini platform. As long as it's not just a badge swap and they actually make this car look good.

I know some people like looks of the Mini but it's a love it or hate it kind of thing. I'm in the hate it group. I guess it really doesn't matter though. We wont see it over here.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hites View Post
Well this is confusing badge engineering.
Indeed; it seems like a BMW variant of the Mini would just dilute the BMW brand for no real advantage.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick View Post
Indeed; it seems like a BMW variant of the Mini would just dilute the Mini brand for no real advantage.
fixord
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:49 PM   #7
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I like my small vehicles in FWD form...that is if I cant have AWD.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Why would BMW do this?
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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I'll repeat what has been said above, why don't they just call it a Mini?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRACING View Post
Why would BMW do this?
BMW going FWD

Subaru going RWD only.

Dogs and Cats Living Together!!!

It is going to be Chaos!!!
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #11
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Dogs and Cats Living Together!!!
Mass hysteria!
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:49 AM   #12
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim-H View Post
A car with the proven handling characteristics of the Mini platform. As long as it's not just a badge swap and they actually make this car look good.

I know some people like looks of the Mini but it's a love it or hate it kind of thing. I'm in the hate it group. I guess it really doesn't matter though. We wont see it over here.
I agree with this post, I think this car could be quite good and do very well in Europe. However, IMO it is a very very slim chance we see it over here, and if we do it won't be for a few years at least. BMW seems to be doing very well selling Mini in the USA, positioning the dealers next to BMW dealers in many cases, almost to the point of it being basically a "cheap FWD alternative to a BMW" already.

I think it would be easier for BMW USA to consider bringing over more 1 series versions, perhaps lower end versions of that car that they already have in Europe, and leave the Mini as is, rather than try to slot a BMW version of a Mini inbetween the two cars as they exist today.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:11 AM   #14
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It took me a minute to understand that rabbit pic...I guess its still early...
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mbs627 View Post
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:16 AM   #16
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LOL! Love the rabbit pic!!!
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:18 PM   #17
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unless it's an isetta that is FWD, I don't see it actually happening.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:44 PM   #18
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Probably because BMW needs to have some eco cars in their fleet, or the feds will apply more penalties/taxes to them. Currently they are already being fined and that 2012 CAFE standard will add $37,000 to the price tag of each car sold.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:11 PM   #19
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From what I've read, this is going to be a small city car to compete with the Audi A1,2 and MB A and B. If it's only is this category that's OK, as the 1 series has shown that its a bit too small for RWD due to packaging and weight compromises.

I see it like the Cayenne. I won't mind any SUVs or sedans Porsche sells, so long as I can lust after a 911 and Boxter/Cayman. So long as I can still get a small BMW sedan with an inline 6, I don't care if they slap the roundel on a segway scooter.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #20
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Default 80% of Bmw 1-series owners believe they drive a front-wheel-drive car




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I know this is very hard to believe, but it appears that 80% of Bmw 1-Series owners believe they are driving a front-wheel-drive car. These words came from BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer last week, when he announced that Bmw is going to manufacture front-wheel-drive models. Apparently, Reithofer’s comment came after an analyst asked him whether the German automaker risked confusing customers with the addition of fwd BMWs to a line-up that features only rear-drive models. Due to this survey, Bmw is confident that a front-wheel-drive model as a good chance on the market.

[via autonews - sub. required]
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:40 PM   #21
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Wait, it's not April 1 yet...
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:48 PM   #22
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In related news:

80% of BMW 1-series owners have gone full retard.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #23
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My car's RWD? WTF?
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:38 PM   #24
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Oh my lord, that's funny!

How could you NOT know which wheels are driving your car???














Never mind. People are daft, I know.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:07 AM   #25
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Default BMW Working On New Engine Family, Three-Cylinder Units Planned

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CEO Norbert Reithofer has revealed[that the automaker is working on a new family of modular gasoline and diesel engines that will include a three-cylinder variant and eventually go into some 1.5 million cars, including both BMW and MINI models, per year.

The family of engines will include three- four- and six-cylinder units and are being developed primarily for BMW’s new front-wheel drive models, though they will also be offered in rear-wheel drive models as well.
Reithofer is keen to see volumes across BMW’s three brands increase dramatically--as he describes it: “a scale we never had at BMW before”.

Last year BMW sold a total of 1,286,310 vehicles across its three brands, of which small and compact cars accounting for about 400,000 vehicles. With the introduction of the new front-wheel drive model line, BMW hopes to add an additional 700,000 to one million vehicle sales per year starting in 2014 or 2015.

Company insiders have suggested that BMW’s new front-wheel drive platform could eventually spawn up to 20 different models. Reithofer confirmed that the first model to use it will be the next-generation MINI due in 2014 and that two front-wheel drive BMW models will follow shortly after.
Expect the new engines powering all these cars to feature direct injection and turbocharging technologies. There should also be a few hybrid applications and possibly even a range-extended plug-in hybrid design.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]
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